7 Signs It’s Time to Break up with Your ACPosted in Blog, Indoor Air Quality Feb, 19, 2015
- No longer comfortable in the relationship?
Becoming too comfortable in a relationship can be a problem – but not when it comes to your relationship with your air conditioner. Your home is supposed to be your haven from the outside – including the outside temperatures. For years, your HVAC system helped make it one while asking for very little in return (just the occasional tune-up). But now, your good times together are becoming less and less frequent – or perhaps they’re a distant memory altogether. You keep on investing more in the system hoping that it will change its ways, but it’s no use. It continues to give less while asking for more (in the form of utility and repair costs) in return. Sound familiar? It’s time to call it quits.
- Is it too old for you?
Unfortunately, “age is just a number” does not apply to air conditioners. Have you noticed that, in its old age, your system has started to have trouble keeping up with you and the Austin heat? Is it working harder and costing you more but providing you with the same (or, likely, less) comfort than it did in its younger years? According to Energy Star, replacing a unit that is more than 10 years old with one that is more efficient can save a homeowner as much as 20% on heating and cooling costs – and, at Efficient Air Conditioning & Electric, we think that’s conservative. That number does not take into account the fact that, if your system has been in operation for more than a decade, it likely uses R-22 refrigerant, which is being phased out because it is ozone-depleting. The phase out means that supplies of R-22 are lower, which can make it three times as expensive as the new standard refrigerant, R410-A.
- Are you tired of picking up the tab?
Your air conditioner is never going to take you to dinner and a movie, but an old, inefficient system can leave less room in your budget for things you’d rather spend money on. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical air conditioning system accounts for 48% of a home’s utility costs. With an old, inefficient system, that number can be as high as 70%. If you’re tired of footing the bill for your air conditioner’s inefficiency and breakdowns, it’s time to consider cutting your losses.
- Are you sick of being stood up?
One of the keys to the success of any relationship is the other party showing up in your times of need. For hotter or colder, your system is supposed to be there for you (for hotter or hotter may be more appropriate for Austin, Texas). If you come home on 90-100 degree days and your old system isn’t there for you, it’s time to think about moving on.
- Do you have communication problems?
Poor communication is the leading cause of breakups. If you can’t easily communicate with your old system, it’s time to consider an upgrade. New ‘smart’ systems with web-driven, app-enabled thermostats are designed to understand and meet your needs in a way that old ‘dumb’ systems can’t. Take the new Honeywell Lyric thermostat, for example: It knows when you’re heading home and adjusts itself so you’ll be comfortable when you arrive. If you’re ready for a flexible, intelligent system that gets you, ditch the dummy.
- Are you tired of being in an unbalanced relationship?
Is there constant fighting in your house between hot and cold? If the temperatures in your home are uneven from room to room or floor to floor, your system may be unbalanced, and your ducts are likely to blame. The ductwork is the highway system that delivers the right amount of conditioned air to the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, many of these systems suffer from traffic jams worse than the Austin stretch of I-35 at rush hour. Remodeling your ductwork can drastically increase comfort and decrease the amount of energy your HVAC system uses overall. For a multi-story home, adding a smart, zoned system will also help restore balance.
- Are you spending an increasing amount of time with someone else… who happens to do AC repair for a living?
Everyone should know and have a good AC repair company, but ideally, you only see your AC technician a couple of times a year for routine maintenance. If the visits start to become more frequent and more costly, it’s time to start considering replacement. If you’d like to know your options, call us at Efficient Air Conditioning & Electric to schedule a free in-home estimate.
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